Video: UAE's newest astronauts undergo 6-day scuba diving training


Dubai - It included 3 days for open water licence and 3 days for advanced open water licence.


Nandini Sircar

Published: Sun 12 Sep 2021, 3:49 PM

Last updated: Sun 12 Sep 2021, 3:50 PM

The second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme has completed its scuba diving training ahead of the start of a rigorous 30-month training programme at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa) Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas in the US.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) today tweeted: “The second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme continue their training to join the 2021 NASA Astronaut Candidate Class.”

A video showed Nora Al Matrooshi and Mohammad Al Mulla - the two new members of the UAE Astronaut Corp - 30 metres underwater.

This training is part of Al Matrooshi and Al Mulla’s preparations to join the spacewalk training that will be conducted in collaboration with Nasa.

MBRSC also tweeted: “The second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme underwent a six-day scuba diving training which included three days for open water licence and three days for advanced open water licence.”

Earlier, the duo joined the UAE’s veteran astronauts Hazzaa Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Neyadi at the Nasa Johnson Space Centre before their arduous training begins for the 2021 Nasa Astronaut Candidate Class in December.

The UAE’s newest astronauts have also been undergoing other in-house training to bolster their physical and psychological fitness.

The regimen includes swimming, scuba diving, survival exercise, stamina improvement, aircraft flying classes and Russian language training.

Al Matrooshi, 28, had said: “I have started feeling more responsible ever since I was chosen. It takes passion, ambition, years of hard work and never giving up to reach your goals. My dream has finally come through.”

The training is aimed at creating a longer history-making journey to the International Space Station (ISS) eventually.

Al Mulla, 34, had said: “I feel a big sense of responsibility, because the UAE is an important country on the global stage. I want to represent my country in the best possible way. I am truly grateful to the country’s wise leadership.”

In April this year, the country announced the name of the first woman astronaut Al Matrooshi along with her male colleague Al Mulla – who are the latest to be recruited to the UAE’s growing astronaut corps.

Al Matrooshi is a mechanical engineer from the United Arab Emirates University who always had a passion for space from a young age.

Excelling in engineering and mathematics, she was also selected for the UAE Youth Ambassadors Programme in South Korea.

Al Mulla is a commercial pilot licence holder. He is also a holder of a flight instructor licence from the Australian Civil Aviation Authority. Al Mulla has a bachelor’s degree in law and economics. He obtained an Executive Master of Public Administration from the Mohammad Bin Rashid School of Government.

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